do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す?
There are many kanji that I have come across with similar meanings, and (seemly coincidentally) identical readings. But the kanji in question look entirely different from each other. This particular aspect of kanji has been helpful to me, as it makes memorizing readings and associating meanings much easier, but I have also found it intriguing.
元 and 源 are both read as "gen", and both carry a meaning of "source or origin".
元 and 本 are both read as "moto", and both carry a meaning of "root or origin".
内 and 家 are both read as "uchi", and carry a meaning of "inner" and "home", respectively (related by the "inner circle" aspect of Japanese culture)."
他 and 外 are both read as "hoka", and carry the meanings of "other" and "outside", respectively.
小 and 少 are both read as "shou", and carry the meanings of "small" and "few", respectively.
神 and 上 are both read as "kami", and carry the meanings of "god" and "above", respectively.
空ける and 開ける are both read as "akeru", both mean "to open", and their kanji translate to "empty" and "open", respectively.
The humble form of "person" is 者, and is pronounced "mono", as if referring to the person as "a thing" (物).
Finally, the adjective for "ugly", 醜い, is read "minikui". This is identical to 見にくい or 見難い, which is an entire phrase meaning "hard to look at".
There are a lot more examples that I can think of, but I omitted most of them for the sake of brevity. Is this just a series of coincidences, or is there an etymological or historical reason for this?